Guest post by DaveM
I think it’s almost impossible to overestimate the impact the digital and communications revolution has had on peoples’ lives, and in ways which none of us could have ever foreseen or imagined.
Currently we’re seeing that social media is providing people under totalitarian regimes with a means to communicate en-masse in order to organise and demonstrate against these dictatorships. The restrictions these regimes have placed on foreign independent news channels have been pretty much bypassed by YouTube, as we see in Syria.
The flip-side of the coin is that not only can we instantly see when people are resisting and challenging these regimes, we can also immediately see when people are making excuses for them.
In the past it was easy for somebody to speak to a foreign TV station and attempt to excuse the inexcusable or at least minimise it without many people knowing.
Not any more.
Look what turns up on Google after reading this: “MP [sic] George Galloway – Al Manar TV.”
(Please note that I’ve translated a translation from English into Arabic back into English, so there may be a slight discrepancy in the words used.)
“If the Syria regime were to be toppled by this alliance, this extreme alliance which is supported by the puppet Khaddam and by the people who supported the Homs massacre [surely Hama?] which was carried out by Rifat Al Assad,and by people who are working for Israel and others who are working for France and the US, in addition to genuine demonstrators who want change.
“This coalition isn’t secure at all, and the Syrian people should know that the Imperialists are not investing a lot (to defeat Assad) because they love the Syrian people. So I ask this question, If the regime were overthrown then would Israel give you back the Golan? This America which is supporting the your so-called revolution in Syria, will they tell Israel to give you back your land? Absolutely not.
“The Syria regime has made a lot of mistakes, historically and right now, and the way they’ve responded at the beginning of these demonstrations, was a massive mistake.
“However they [imperialists?] are not trying to destroy Bashar because of anything bad which he’s done, but they are trying to destroy Bashar because of the good things which he has done– for instance his support for the Palestinian resistance, his support for the Lebanese resistance, his refusal to surrender to Israel, his refusal to allow Syria to be a base for the invasion of Iraq. These are the reasons why they’re trying to destroy Bashar Al Assad.
“I think that Bashar Al Assad wants reform and that he wants change… He wants to respond to the demand for change which a lot of people want. I urge him to quickly get this underway. Yes it’s late in the day, but I will never ever support NATO in Libya and this cocktail of Zionism and Imperialism in Syria right now.”
Meanwhile in Syria does it look to you like they’re asking Bashar to implement reforms? It looks like a revolution to me, and certainly not a “cocktail of Zionism and Imperialism”. And would he say that to the relatives of the 2,000-plus dead?
Ironic that his autobiography is entitled “I’m Not the Only One,” because when it comes to his views on what’s happening in Syria it increasingly appears that yes, he is.